Does plant science have a image problem?

Where are all the plant scientists?

This week I went on a mission- to find more plant science blogs to follow. Although science publications are great for communicating science to each other, it is nice to read about what others are doing in a less academic setting- via blogs.

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Inside the anxious brain

This week you get an extra post from me- I have started back at work, and my anxious brain is in overdrive. Why? I am not too sure- there is obviously something worrying me, but it’s buried somewhere I can’t get to at the moment. So I thought I would sit and have a bit of a write, which always seems to calm me and my thoughts.

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Conference Life

I love conferences- I have always enjoyed learning and listening about new science, so to be able to have a few days devoted to science and hearing about the science happening in other labs across the world is amazing.

Conferences are a really important part of PhD life- as they get you networking, and talking about your science to others. I have been lucky enough to attend a huge variety of conferences over the last 3 years- from the student run NoCASS at the John Innes Centre, to the Annual Science Meeting based in Norwich, to International conferences like Solgenomics.

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The Versatile Blogger Award


Hi everyone, I am super excited to have been nominated for the versatile blogger award by Charlotte (A Flailing Biologist) ūüôā -Thank you so much!¬† Charlotte is a soon to be PhD student at the university of Exeter who blogs about a range of subjects on her personal blog- including preparations for beginning her PhD,¬†¬†as well as blogging¬†for Make sure to check her blog out- and catch her on twitter too @cachivers

I had not heard of this award before- but I think it is a really great way to showcase blogs which you love, and which may not be that well known to others. The versatile blogger award allows you to recognise other blogs which you find inspiring and nominate them for the award!

When you win this award you accept it by writing a post with 7 random facts about yourself. So, here are my 7 random facts about me:

1.)I Love Gaming.

Really.  The current game I am playing is Fallout: New Vegas and although it is super buggy, I love it. I mainly play RPG games- I am not great at all with first person shooters. Something about the angle! I just find gaming relaxing- your mind can really turn off.


2.)I hate shoe shopping with a passion.

Honestly, shoe shopping for me, is the worst. I wait till my shoes are falling apart, and then I will reluctantly head for the shops. If I don’t find shoes that fit in the first shop- I go home!

3.) Although I am now a plant scientist, I did not study plants at all at university.

Actually, my progression onto a career in plants was somewhat of a surprise (even to me!) I had always maintained I didn’t like plant science, based purely on the most boring plant-experiment I did at school for A-levels. Now I am doing Plant science, and I don’t want to do anything else!

4.) I re-did my second year of A-levels.

The morning of results I got up and found I hadn’t got into university, I was devastated. Turns out my results were actually really good- just not good enough for what I had wanted to do at Uni (at the time optometry!!). I decided that I didn’t want to just go to Uni for the sake of it, and that I wanted to really try and do what I wanted. So, I resat the final year of my A-levels. At the end of the year I had boosted my Chemistry, Physics and Biology grades all by 1 grade, and managed to get in to Lancaster University to study Biochemistry. Although this was super hard at the time, this was now one of the best decisions I made.

It took a long time to get to Uni- but I did!  This is me, graduating from Lancaster!

5.) I love reading.

I don’t read nearly as much as I used to anymore, but if I had it my way I would happily lose myself in a book for a few hours. I tend to stick to Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I like to enter a new world when I read and have a break from reality. Due to lack of time now in which to read, I listen to audiobooks on the to work everyday- My current favourite is We are Legion (We are Bob) by Dennis E Taylor.

6.) I haven’t had a proper holiday (like away from my family home) in 4 years.

I know it is forever! I always try to take time off to at least go home for a bit every year, but I just haven’t had the money/ time over the last few years to do everything I wanted. I used all my money up paying for my Masters, and my car! When I finish my PhD I want to finally travel a bit.

Me on my last holiday: A mini break to visit Paris with my siste

7.) I really love make-up.

I always have. It is one of the things I spend quite a bit of my money on- purely because I like it. I enjoy the process of applying makeup, and creating different looks, and spend a lot of my free time (more than I am willing to admit) watching beauty you-tubers (my Faves are: RachhLoves, Sharon Ferrell and Lisa Eldridge.)

Now onto the exciting part- my nominations:

I have only really started to use wordpress in the last few months, and I am still getting to grips with the system and finding new blogs to follow (If you have some recommendations for me, I would love to hear them) . At the moment I am really loving:

  • Rebecca- An anxious scientist.¬† Rebecca is a PhD student at the University of York where she studies the symbiotic bacteria found inside the tsetse fly and how their metabolism might be key to preventing disease spread.¬†She is just an all-round great blogger and empowering female scientist. She does a great¬†‘this month in science’ blog rounding up all the interesting science stories from that month¬†! She is also great to follow on twitter (‚Äé@RebeccaJHall13) and Instagram.
  • The Radical Botanical Emily is PhD Student in the Institute of Molecular,¬†Cell, & Systems Biology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. She writes some really great posts about¬†plant science, ¬†and is also a disability advocate, living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Type 3), POTS, MCAD, fibromyalgia and an anxiety disorder)- working towards raising awareness about Health in academia. Also find Emily on twitter @emilyxarmstrong¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
  • Surviving Science¬†Natasha is¬†a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh studying cancer research. Her blogs about PhD life are great- showing the ups and downs in a relatable and funny way. Her post 7 reasons your Western didn‚Äôt work¬†(again)¬†is super funny. You can also find her tweeting @NatashaTracey¬† and on Instagram surviving_science

My Next post is going to be later next week as I am going to a conference in Valencia! But if you want to hear about what I am doing,  follow me on Twitter @EricaHawkins16 !